By Chuks Okocha
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Monday said the looted food items in warehouses across the nation were reserved for a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as for the vulnerable persons.
In a statement by the Head of Media of the NGF, Abdulraque Bellingham Barkindo, the governors said: “For example, some of the properties stolen and vandalized include palliatives set aside for vulnerable members of society.”
The governors said that since the #EndSARS demonstrations started, they held several meetings to address the underlying concerns and members have aligned themselves with the call for justice, leading to the setting up of judicial panels in the states of the federation against police brutality.
According to the statement, the governors regretted the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted and called for calm.
They said a lot of the information circulating in the social media needed to be fact checked and pleaded with members of the public to desist from spreading rumours which could further create panic and stampede.
“For example, some of the properties stolen and vandalized include palliatives set aside for vulnerable members of society.
“The NGF reemphasizes and corrects the impression that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society especially our vulnerable citizens.
“The erroneous impression in the public domain that these palliatives were hoarded is not just inaccurate, entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.
“For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous.
“As we know, CACOVID operations are mainly domiciled in Lagos, being the headquarters of most of the public-spirited organisations, corporate bodies and individuals that came together to form the Coalition Against COVID-19; CACOVID.
“Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to ten states had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their states. This was because the items meant for distribution in these states had not been completely received from CACOVID,” the governors said.
The NGF said that as of a couple of weeks ago, some states were still receiving palliatives from the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The governors refuted the claims making the rounds that the palliatives had been hoarded, and assured all contributors to the palliatives that prior to the looting of the warehouses, the states had kept full accounts of all the items received and distributed.
The governors assured Nigerians that they are doing everything humanely possible under the circumstances to ameliorate the needs of the teeming population.
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum stands for justice, improved governance and a progressive Nigeria,” it said.